ADHD poses a significant challenge for today’s students and educators. It is one of the most widespread sources of academic difficulty in the US – 11% of American children between the ages of 4 and 17 will be diagnosed with ADHD. Students living with the disorder find it difficult to focus on routine, repetitive, or “boring” tasks, like lectures and homework, which often results in lower grades.
In a recent New York Times editorial, clinical psychiatry professor Richard E. Friedman discusses research on adults who have apparently “grown out” of ADHD – the prevalence of the disorder (diagnosed as such) is much lower in the adult population, as many adults who formerly had it cease to show symptoms. Friedman proposes that this is the result of adults’ greater freedom of choice in their daily activities, and specifically the freedom of adults with ADHD-type brain chemistry to choose occupations in which their thought patterns will actually be an asset. He suggests that children with ADHD would fare better in classrooms that emphasize hands-on learning and small-group or one-on-one interactions with teachers.
You can read Friedman’s full editorial here.